Wales and the World: New Critical Perspectives
Speakers: Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales, Elwen Evans QC, M. Wynn Thomas OBE, Kieron Smith, Rhian Barfoot, Kirsti Bohata, Daniel Williams nd D.J. Britton
This wide-ranging event addressed topics such as disability and eco-literature, literature as cultural capital, in the context of launching: Eutopia: Studies in Cultural Euro-Welshness, 1850-1980 by M. Wynn Thomas, New Theoretical Perspectives on Dylan Thomas edited by Kieron Smith and Rhian Barfoot, and Fight and Flight: Essays on Ron Berry, edited by Georgia Burdett and Sarah Morse.
Avatars: LGBT storytelling by Amy Dillwyn
In this talk, Professor Kirsti Bohata introduces Swansea writer, Amy Dillwyn, and her radical fiction. In her novels, Amy Dillwyn created male avatars (often criminals) to allow her to explore genderqueer identities and lesbian desires. Later, these avatars become female characters (still criminal) who occupy male storylines. This talk is suitable for a general audience.
Introduced by Norena Shopland.
Carol Bell: 'The Business Life of Amy Dillwyn: Truth Stranger than Fiction?'
Amy Dillwyn (1845-1935) was one of the world’s earliest female industrialists. In the 1890s she took control of a failing spelter works and transformed it into a profitable concern. Never bound by convention, she made trips to Europe and North Africa to secure supply chains, negotiated with engineers and mine-owners, and – with her trademark cigar – became a familiar local and national figure.
Dr Carol Bell, a businesswoman and archaeologist, explores this lesser known part of Amy’s life when she used her very considerable talent, previously devoted to literary pursuits, to save the livelihoods of her workers when Swansea was reeling from the impact of the McKinley Tariff imposed by the US to protect manufacturing assets. This story shows that truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction.